Women and water scarcity in Botswana: Challenges and strategies in Kweneng District – The case study of Gakuto Village

The purpose of the paper is to examine how water scarcity affects women in Gakuto and strategies they use to adapt to water scarcity. Water is a basic necessity and a requirement for all according to United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. Botswana is one of the countries faced with water scarcity. The key geographical features of low rainfalls and semi-arid conditions contribute to the scarcity of water resources in the country. The paper highlights challenges faced by women in Gakuto village and strategies they use to cope with water scarcity. A conceptual framework has been used to discuss the relevant concepts that underpin the research. These are water scarcity, adaptation and coping, vulnerability. Data was collected during a site visit through semi structured interviews, field observations and secondary data sources from the government reports and publications. Using semi structured interviews, 23 women from 12 households were interviewed to outline challenges they face in accessing water and sanitation in the village. A traditional leader was also involved to outline the situation of water access in the village. Results show that over 80% of participants travel more than 1km from their households to access water. According to World Health Organisation, in Africa, women walk an average of 10 km per day collecting water. Data was coded and analysed to outline an overview of the various coping and adaptation strategies that participants employ at household level. Majority of them use rainwater, change water routine, access water through social networking and reuse at household level.